Founder of Baťa shoe company, one of the world’s largest multinational retailers, manufacturers and distributors of accessories and footwear, Tomáš Baťa was born in 1876 in the town of Zlín. Tomáš Baťa came from a family of shoemakers with a history going back over 300 years before the Baťa shoe empire was born. Tomáš Baťa established the company in 1894 with his brother and sister. In 1908 Tomáš Baťa obtained sole responsibility for the company after his brother died from Tuberculosis; it was at this time that the company’s big break would come as a large order for sturdy military shoes came in during World War I, which caused massive production for the company and success to follow. Before World War I and after Tomáš Baťa traveled to America to observe processes in factories and plants; upon returning he implemented assembly lines and decentralized the main factory opening shoe factories in Poland, Yugoslavia, India, Denmark, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States. By 1930, Tomáš Baťa has made the Baťa company the world’s leader in foot wear production and exportation. Tomáš Baťa is regarded not only as a fine businessman, but a fine businessman with a sense of social consciousness as he created jobs, housing facilities and cared for employee welfare and implemented social advancement programs. In 1932 Tomáš Baťa died in a plane crash near his hometown of Zlín. His grandson Thomas Baťa currently runs the company.
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